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EA - E3

EA’s E3 2014 Press Conference Recap

A transcript of EA’s 2014 E3 press conference

Like any press conference should start, EA’s began with the CEO Andrew Wilson taking the stage and welcoming everyone to E3 and their press conference. He immediately sets the show off by announcing a video for Star Wars: Battlefront will be shown at E3. He announces that the conference will be showing games releasing in the upcoming months and other games that will take longer but we’d get more in-depth looks. He continued by saying that there would be various ideas on what to expect given to us by the creative leaders of the studios they are working with. He promised the games are all connected in an attempt to put the players first; to create games that continue to grab the attention of the player. Finally, he introduced the video for Dragon Age: Inquisition as well as two other projects from Bioware.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Before the video began, a single cellist is wheeled on stage to play over the video on screen. The video showcase amazing landscapes and creatures from, mountains, forests, fiery caves, and floating castles. Aaryn Flynn (General Manager of Bioware) took the stage and began explaining Inquisition. He stated that you take the role of the inquisitor and will allow you to shape the games plot as you want to. You will gain multiple allies to help in your fight against the evil plaguing the game world.

Then he set up a video showing one of the game’s fighting styles that puts you in the heart of action. The video showed the four characters attacking a dragon by targeting either the head or one of the legs. Also shown was a character casting a magic spell by first aiming where it will be summoned. The dragon took flight just before the video ended and Aaryn retook the audience’s attention.

He then went on to talk about the tactical combat style that will allow players to pause time and choose where their characters will move to and what abilities they will use when they reach the location. He ended everything by saying that each companion will have their own side story and background to discover and play through. He introduced the final video which showed us all a few of the companions we will meet through the game on October 7th.

Next up a video appeared with a few Bioware employees explaining that they believe story is what makes a game memorable. They talked about how they asked the community for what they want from a new Mass Effect game. They explained that people have asked for new regions of space to discover and new characters. They believe fans will be surprised with what they are doing with it.

They then explained that there is also a new IP in the works. They are working to make a hyper-realistic environment for players to enjoy.

Sims 4

Rachel Franklin (Executive Producer of The Sims) took the stage to immediately introduce new concepts coming to The Sims. She explained that now you can control how your Sims will act. You can choose personality types that change their emotions and actions. All Sims will be able to interact and influence each other on an emotional level throughout the game. She demonstrated this by introducing one of her Sims and explaining everything that happened over the last day to her Sim.

She then showed that the gallery has houses and Sims created by other people that you can rate and even download to change up your game. She finished her time on stage by announcing the game will be releasing on September 2nd this year.

UFC

The next game began with an old video of Bruce Lee explaining how to be like water. Dana White (President of the UFC) and a few UFC fighters talked about Bruce Lee and his influence on Mixed Martial Arts over footage of a Bruce Lee character in the video game Octagon. The gameplay trailer shows Bruce Lee doing iconic movements and attacks much like he has done during his time alive.

Brian Hayes (Creative Director for UFC) ran on stage and interrupts the video saying that they have been working on allowing anyone to be like Bruce Lee on a virtual playground. He then set up a video for an in-game fight between Bruce Lee and BJ Penn. He pointed out that both characters are rendered very well and show all damage that has been dealt to them on their head and legs. He continued to narrate the gameplay before the match ended with Bruce Lee delivering a devastating kick to BJ Penn’s face. He also announced that the game will release the following week on June 17th.

NHL 15

Following the video, Dean Richards (Studio General Manager for EA sports) stepped on stage to tell everyone what to expect from the NHL franchise on next gen consoles. He explained that they increased the control you have on your team and that due to increased physics on the players and the puck itself it will create a more realistic and difficult game for NHL Fans.

Then he set up the first gameplay video for NHL 15 before stepping off the stage.

After the NHL video ended, Patrick Soderlund (EVP at EA Studios) stepped forward to talk about how they approached speed in terms with gaming. They are working to bring new features, new environments, and new concepts to gaming faster than before. He talked about how Criterion Games has been the best when it comes to speed and set up an early first look at their next project. The video showed the employees of Criterion riding in helicopters, ATVs, jumping out of planes, and working in their newly designed office; which is just one big room. They play test as they build their games so they can make any changes they feel need to be made right away and immediately test it out. The new IP they are working on will involve more than just cars as their previous games have. Players will be able to use boats, parachutes, helicopter, and more.

The game will be played completely in first person and will allow quick transition between vehicles on the go. Players will be able to jump out of a helicopter and land on an ATV without stopping or even slowing their speed.

Cam Weber (Studio Group General Manager at EA Sports) stepped on the stage to show a few games coming from Tiburon. He began by talking about EA Sports PGA Tour which is being built on the Frostbite 3 engine. He mentioned that players will be able to explore every inch of the courses in the game in fully rendered environments and will feature no load times between holes. He then stepped off to allow the video trailer for PGA Tour to play, showing massive beautiful courses, and even a player playing golf on a course being destroyed by a burning battleship crashing into it.

Afterwards, Weber speaks of how Madden fans have been asking for a better defensive play style. He spoke of how Madden 15 will have a whole new defense experience. He first showed that new camera placement will set the view from behind the defensive player to allow better reads of the offensive line and better defensive judgment. He also stated that in previous games, defenders will be locked in a block. Now when players are locked in a block they will be able to push defenders out of the way to open running passages. You can also shunt or even completely bypass a block to get towards the QB better. They have also implemented new features for tackling to allow easier, more consistent tackles for players. The game will be released on August 26th.

Dawngate

The lights dimmed a voice over came on saying “If we’re going to do MOBA, we don’t just want a clone.” The video then cut to an arena being created and two people sitting in chairs. The video stated that they got the game into players hands at a very early stage to allow player feedback shape the game from the very beginning. They worked around building the game as people played it to ensure that the community ideas were implemented immediately. The Meta game in Dawngate is always changing based on your teams composition. The developers then talked about their characters, the arena, how they were spawned from both the story, and their own opinions.

Andrew Wilson returned to the stage and begins speaking of the feelings he gets from being able to interact with people at E3. He asked the audience to talk to them and challenge them to make games that they will love. He then told everyone to enjoy the rest of the show and allowed the next video to begin.

Mirror’s Edge 2

The video began with Faith’s iconic eye. Then moved on to one of the people working on the game talking about how they began with Faith’s basic color palette. They explained how Faith’s design, as well as the idea of the runners, are fundamental to what they are building. As they showed off concept gameplay footage, they spoke of how they got professional parkour artists to come in and talk to the developers about the movement mechanics that they have in the game and what else they should be able to do. They spoke of how they are revamping the combat to make it faster and more movement based than before. The ended the video by saying they are creating a Faith for a new generation

FIFA 15

David Rutter (Executive Producer for FIFA) began his time on the stage by speaking of how Futball (Soccer) has a large emotional pull that affects the players and the fans. He said that FIFA 15 will have the players display a range of emotion based on what they remember every goal and will have an emotional response based on who got the point. The game’s physics have been enhanced so that the ball physically responds to where and how it is hit by the players. This also affects the man to man battles over the ball; from slide tackles, to shirt pulls, to shoulder charges. The hyper-realism shown throughout the conference this far is not forgotten as everything will change. The field will show cleat marks, corner poles will move if hit by the ball, and even the goal posts will rumble from the ball bouncing off of it. Rutter says that “…this year, you will feel the game.”

Battlefield: Hardline

After a brief trailer, Karl Magnus Toedsson (Group General Manager for Dice) and Steve Papoutsis (Executive Producer for Visceral games) walked on stage to introduce the game. They spoke of how three years ago they put forth the idea of expanding Battlefield to new worlds and as such have brought it to the streets in a battle between cops and thieves. They spoke of how Endgame, the fourth DLC for Battlefield 3, was a starting point for Hardline and helped them learn what the community loved most; open areas, vehicles, and lots of teamwork. They introduced a gameplay footage of a 32-person match in a new game mode called Heist; where the villains need to escape with loot and the cops have to stop them.

While I could explain the whole video, I feel like it would be better if I don’t spoil it. I will say that the gameplay video has a hilarious ending and will by my favorite feature of the game if it makes it in. People can join in the beta by going to Battlefield.com and signing up for access on the PC or the PS4.

The press conference ended with Papoutsis revealing that the beta will be live streamed on twitch and people who attended the conference will get to play the beta early.

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